Exclusive: Michelle Waterson Believes Carla Esparza Should ‘Gets to Pick Who She Wants to Fight’

Michelle Waterson gives her opinion on who Carla Esparza should fight

Matchmaking in the UFC has so many variables nowadays. Of course, the timing always factors into the process but so does the entertainment side of things. UFC President Dana White always says he is in the fight business, and he always tries to put on the best fight possible. The best fighter against the best fighter. However, sometimes money is the answer to the matchmaking problem.

Enter the strawweight title picture problem. There are two clear top contenders for Carla Esparza‘s strawweight title, No. 2 ranked Weili Zhang and No. 3 Marina Rodriguez. And they both have a case to be made.

Zhang just knocked out the strawweight GOAT Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 275; however, she fought for the title twice in 2021 and lost both times. Rodriguez is riding a four-fight fight win streak since losing to Esparza in 2020; however, she isn’t the biggest star- name value-wise.

The champ should choose

In an exclusive interview with MiddleEasy, No. 10 ranked strawweight Michelle Waterson gave her opinion on who Esparza should fight.

I don’t know, honestly. I guess if I could give an answer, I would say it’s up to Carla because she’s the champ. She gets to pick who she wants to fight. And, you know, those are the perks of being a champ is that you get to pick,” Waterson said.

‘The Karate Hottie’ has a point with Esparza being the one to choose. However, the UFC brass will only give up so much power. In a recent interview, Esparza said that she feels Rodriguez is more deserving than Zhang in response to Zhang wanting to fight Esparza in October.

No matter who gets the next title shot, someone will get heartbroken. It’s MMA.

Two more fights on her contract

Waterson returns to action on July 16 for the first time in 2022 when she takes on powerhouse Amanda Lemos.

In our interview, Waterson revealed that she has two fights left on her current contract, but she isn’t trying to look too far into the future because it takes her out of the moment.

“Every fight is the biggest fight, you know, I think I’m kind of over trying to make it any bigger,” Waterson said. “Obviously, it’s a big fight, but it is what it is, it’s a fight at the end of the day, you know, and I just have to go in there stay focused. And when, if I put any more pressure on what it would be to win, then I’m not in the right mind space to go in there and be in the moment.”

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